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Coronavirus Update – Chinese City To Make Mandatory Virus Tracking App Permanent

Technology dominates all aspects of our lives. From the way that we communicate to the way that we eat, technology plays a pivotal role. Thus, it only makes sense for us to make use of technology when battling a crisis. Governments across the world have come up with different ways to track and tackle the spread of the novel coronavirus. Many have turned to technology to help them keep track of their citizens during the pandemic.

India has introduced an app called “Aarogya Setu.” The Indian government is making it increasingly mandatory for its citizens to install the app on their phones to move about.

Similarly, different versions of a tracking app have been used across mainland China to track individuals’ virus status.

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Coronavirus Update - Chinese City To Make Mandatory Virus Tracking App Permanent
Aarogya Setu, India’s tracking app

Now, a Chinese city is talking about making the use of this app permanent.

WHY IS A CHINESE CITY MAKING THE USE OF A CORONAVIRUS TRACKER PERMANENT?

Authorities in Hangzhou have announced their plans to make the use of a tracking app permanent to monitor people’s health.

The tracking app that will be used will be a broader version of the one currently in use, and is expected to be ready by the end of the month, according to Chinese media.

It is proposed to be a “firewall to enhance people’s health and immunity” in the future.

A prototype of the app takes various factors into account to score the relative health of the user. These include the number of cigarettes smoked that day, steps taken, drinks consumed, or hours slept.

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Coronavirus Update - Chinese City To Make Mandatory Virus Tracking App Permanent

However, serious privacy concerns are being raised against the app.

One of the comments on a news article on Weibo read –

“The boundary between personal health and public health should be reflected. The health code is for others to read. Others have no right to read your personal health reports.”

“We have no privacy left whatsoever,” read another.

 

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Rhythm Bhatia

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